Good Friday observance in Barangay (barrio) San Pedro Cutud, in San Fernando, Pampanga, Philippines Photo courtesy: By istolethetv from Hong Kong, China (carried Uploaded by Fæ) [CC BY 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons
San Pedro Cutud, a small barangay (smallest political unit) in San Fernando Pampangain in the Philippines, draws in thousands of visitors every year with its annual crucifixion re-enactment rites held on Good Friday. Some penitents have themselves get nailed on the cross, usually as an act of penance and to ask for retribution.
Where: Barangay San Pedro Cutud, San Fernando, Pampanga Philippines

When: April 14, 2017, starts at 12:00 NN

The re-enactment rites during Maleldo (‘Holy Week’ in Kapampangan, Pampanga’s local language) goes back to the 1950s.

Although religious in nature, the Catholic Church in the Philippines condemns the crucifixion event and does not endorse it.

But even without the Church’s support, the event still draws in both local and foreign tourists, with many visiting the Philippines for the first time just to witness the re-enactment rites.

Although the modern Catholic church now discourages this act of hurting themselves, many penitents called “magdarame” carry wooden crosses, crawl on rough pavement, and slash their backs before whipping themselves to draw blood Courtesy: istolethetv |Flick

Hostels and hotels around the area get booked out early so it is best to plan in advance. Here are some of the accommodation options around San Pedro Cutud:

  • Maharlika Hostel: 3.5 kms. away
  • Lewana Lodge Hotel: 7 kms. away
  • Otel Pampanga: 8 kms. away
  • Sogo Hotel Pampanga: 8.5 kms. away

And here are some more tips:

  • Arrive early. Rites in Barangay Cutud start at 12:00 NN, but the venue gets full as early as 9:00 AM.
  • Prepare to get soaked under the sun. It’s going to be the onset of summer, and the Philippines, being a tropical country, is known for a hot and humid summer.
  • If you’re not into “bloody” things, think twice. There are other penitents in the area including flagellants who whip themselves up as they walk on their knees. You can bring an extra set of clothes just in case you get splats of blood.


  • Raizel Albano

    Currently working as a Regional Reporter for GoUNESCO and Chief Traveler for Anthroonfoot.

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